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. put jack in the ring. you greedy coot. one american did try to fix the numbers, richard nixon. he said there were too many jews there and he wanted a list of all the jews working there. projection. "viewpoint" is next. [ ♪ theme music ♪ ] >> eliot: good evening i'm eliot spitzer and this is "viewpoint." mitt romney attacks president obama on one of the president's strengths--foreign policy. the new poll shows the president passive, disconnected performance at last week' debate may have cost him his lead. that despite friday's jobs numbers showed that unemployment had finally dropped below 8% for the first time since the president took office. according to the latest pew poll if the election were held today, 49% of likely voters would support mitt romney to just 45% for president obama.
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the president led romney by eight points in that same poll just under a month ago. we'll have more on that a little later in the program. mitt romney may have been hoping to widen that lead with a much anticipated speech at the virginia military institute today that articulated his approach on foreign policy, focusing primarily on u.s. relations in the middle east. the g.o.p. contender portrayed the president as naive in his dealings with our enemies inand enempty with our friends. >> i know the president hopes for a safer freer and more prosperous middle east applied with us. i share this hope. but hope is not a strategy. it is our responsibility and the responsibility of the president to use america's greatest power to shape history not to lead from behind, leaving our destiny at the mercy of events. >> eliot: romney went on to explain what he would do to assert american leadership. >> romney: i'll put the leaders
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of iran on notice that the united states and our friends and allies will prevent them from acquiring nuclear weapons capability. i'll support the libyan people's efforts to forge a lasting government that represents all of them. and syria i'll work with our partners to identify and organize the members of the opposition who share our values, and then ensure that they obtain the arms they need. finally, i'll recommit america to the goal of a democratic, prosperous palestinian state living side by side it in peace and security with the jewish state of israel. >> eliot: of course, much of that matches what the administration is already doing in the middle east. as white house press secretary jay carney said to reporter, and i quote. on iran for example concrete prescriptions that make sense have been acted on. israel's leaders themselves have said that the supreme court from this president is unpress didn't: madeleine albright was more scathing.
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i think it is really full of platitudes and free of substance. i would really like to ask governor romney and his advisers what he would do differently. and then the campaign ad reminded voters of the hapless response that in the attacks that killed chris stevens. >> romney's response showed a lack of presidential character and republican experts said romney's remarks were the worst possible reaction to what happened. if this is how he handles the world now think of what mitt romney might do as president. >> eliot: for more on mitt romney's assault on foreign policy record and focus in the middle east i'm joined by james traub, who writes regular column "terms of engagement" for foreign and jon soltz, an iraq war veteran and
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co-founder and chairman of vote . is there anything tangible to bitebite into. >> it is adder. the bellicose language is the classic bellicose language, democrats are soft. democrats are weak. democrats are not resolute. but in this speech they've gotten closer to president obama than they were before. in the case of iran, which is iwhich has always been romney's big issue, he didn't say we should be prepared to bomb iran. no. he said, because he's trying to show that he's moderate now we should be prepared to impose tight sanctions on iran. >> eliot: what does that mean? the sanctions are crushing the iranian economy. their currency has been devalued dramatically. there is currency internally. what other sanctions could we impose? >> there is not much. once obama agreed to sanctions
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that was one. then he said the u.s. should arm syrian rebels. that's not what he said. he said the u.s. should work to organize the rebels so that they can be armed by others. that's identical to the obama administration position. >> eliot: and it may be happening. those are the covert efforts that may be running through iran saudi saudi arabia. >> they are. >> eliot: they don't want to publicize them. but jon, let's go to you. you have been in iraq. you heard what romney said we should be doing differently in iraq. how does it strike you. you had boots on the ground, tell us your reaction. >> i was shocked. he some how thinks he could have done differently in iraq. we were being bounded by the militia, supported by iran. we can build the hardware of democracy but it does not mean that we'll win the election.
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fringe elements of the militia last week killed troops after combat was supposedly over. there was no way they were going to agree to have american troops stay. he made some speech talking about how this president messed up and how iraq is in chaos. that's preposterous. was he going to lead guys like me out in the field out immunity? on afghanistan he sat there and where we have troops engaged in combat now. now he's saying yeah, i don't want to get out exactly on the timeline but i'll reevaluate that when i become president. he seemed to seemed to move back to center neo-george bush. he provide nod guidance on real romney doctrine would be and how he would use u.s. military force and how he would handle our military affairs. >> eliot: frankly president obama has done a reasonably
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effective and timely job extricating us from the iraq and afghanistan. he's getting us out. yet the language and emotional impetus of what we hear from mitt romney-- >> and there is a political point. leaving aside the merits of the case. the republicans forever have been saying we're prepared to use force and democrats aren't. we're in a different world now. the republican constituency does not want us to be in iran. they don't want us to be in afghanistan. simply as a political gesture it's a loser. >> eliot: which is why the fascinating point, both with respect to iraq, jon which you addressed, and syria jim which you addressed pulling back at the same time he uses the tough language to appeals to the pound-the-table bellicose language that the republican party wants to assert. >> you might ask what is the
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connection between increasing by two, three four percent what is already the biggest defense budget and bigger than any defense budgets put together, how is increasing that increasing our security? paul ryan said that the terrorists would be afraid of us if we spent more money. >> there is another angle to this, the game change would have been, if governor romney had gone to the true conservative position where he said, i want to get out of afghanistan earlier. if he becomes president the military is not going to want a long-term counter insurgency in afghanistan. the country wants us out and the president can do more to get us out quicker. other than that it's complete pandering to the neo-cons. >> eliot: afghanistan, iran, syria, mitt romney is 0-for-3 good rhetoric, zero in
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substance. let's talk about libya which has been the hot spot with the horror of the bengahzi consulate. this has been the biggest problem for the white house where you have the strategy. >> yes. >> eliot: it seems at a political level mitt romney is capitalizing on what appears to be a moment of weakness by the administration, but is not libya in essence a success story. >> yes, it's difficult for romney to talk about. he says today we're still in a battle between the tyrants and the democrats. that's not what is happening in libya today. that's what happened a year ago. when that happened, as jay carney pointed out, he was on the wrong side. he was not in favor of getting rid of gadhafi. you have these weak fragmented states, it's not clear what romney would do to assist these weak states to keep them from falling apart. >> eliot: in romney's speech, early in the speech he said and
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he goes on at some length after the attack this is in bengahzi, tens of thousands of libyans held a massive protest against the extremists who murdered the ambassador, even in an odd way there is internal inconsistency in his speech. he said because of what we did we brought democracy and those who launched the attack are the fringe element, and then he goes on to say we didn't-- >> this is a like a thankful obama moment? they brought the u.s. in. >> eliot: is there an analogy on this and iraq? >> this was a hit on the embassy. they know where the safe house is. this is an inside job. this is similar to what we're seeing in afghanistan. where we have 51 visors killedder. i was in iraq as an adviser. intervention in libya is complicated. although it may look a certain way right now the problem for governor romney as the president has said he'll go after the
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people who attacked the embassy and killed our ambassador, but in regards to what is happening in africa because of libya weapon systems have gone into northern mali where we have al-qaeda insurgency taking over the country. we have side-effects here where i'm not sure we have the full picture on who exactly attacked the embassy and what our relationship is with the libyan insurgency, and what we see in syria. how do we know exactly who is who? >> eliot: the short answer is we don't, and that's why they're playing the cautious game. i don't want to leave without giving you a chance to give the these of your article on the transportationtransformation of abraham. barack obama. >> ohhow is he going to outflank obama. he went to cairo and gave a beautiful speech and how he was going to recast in the islamic
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work. it didn't work. how are you going to get rid of the tyrants and change the israel-palestine problem. and i think he figured out that because of who i am can recast america. it wasn't going to go as far as he thought. he became the pragmatic president who romney is trying to make believe he is not. >> eliot: you made the fascinating point that many president versus gone through this intellectual revolution, wilson and even jfk, and barack obama more rapidly because he is smart. james traub and jon soltz chairman of vote , thank you for your time. how much difference did the presidential debate make? more "viewpoint" coming up ahead. (vo) what is said here could decide the election. current tv presents coverage of the vice presidential debate. with unrivaled analysis and
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commentary. >> was this the game changer? is this going to change the dynamic? (vo) the only network with real-time reaction straight from the campaigns and from viewers like you. >> so keep on tweeting and maybe you'll have your voice be part of this democracy and see your tweets up on our screen. >>now that's politically direct.
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>> eliot: so manniferous separations watching last week's debate. one of them, the many strong arguments president obama could have made but didn't. and one of those gives us the number of the day. 36 million. that's how many people with pre-existing conditions risk being denied medical coverage if mitt romney repeals the president's healthcare reform. despite romney's claims that people who already suffer ailments would still be covered if they changed jobs, bloomberg news says this that it doesn't complain what his plan would do for many other patients.
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as usual, governor romney gets vague on the details. even nearly a week later he still has not filled in the blanks. but tens of millions to find affordable healthcare unattainable. they'll bring this up thursday in the debate with congressman paul ryan. 36 million people have their health eight risk. the president and vice president should hammer it home in the next few days. (vo) always outspoken, now unleashed, joy behar. >> on my next show, i'll talk to tyne daly. she won the prestigious rush limbaugh's worst nightmare award. i don't think you knew that.
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r than the presidential race. physical probably be a healthy emotional break. last week on the show we focused in two separate segments on justice gone fund mentally awry, remedied in the end by the perseverance of courageous lawyers who time and again stood up against the long odds of overturnturning conviction and sustained by the powerful sense that justice has been vie lited. dame yes or no echols told in his own words the horse of spending 18 years on death row wrongly convicted because of the anger and need for vengeance
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from a co-versed confession of a teenager. and then vanessa potkin, from the innocence project. this fallty is at the end of the day the most compelling persuasive and winning argument against the death penalty. second, technology can provide help. the wonders of dna testing are beginning to be visible. technology is neutral. it convicts and finds innocent. we must make it a regularized part of the system. giving defendants access to dna testing and evidence whenever it might be relevant. as the case of the west memphis three make so clear coerced interrogations continue to be the bane of fair trials. but even here there is an answer. as one who was a prosecutor for many years, i can tell you that having a tape recording of interrogations would help everybody, and it would make clear if there had been improper
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pressure e earthed on the defendant or witness and it would also protect the interrogating officer from the false claims much sufficient pressure that had been brought to bear. the audio or video would make clear what had actually been said, again eliminating so many of the arguments on both sides. the cost of recording interrogation is too insignificant to worry about. every cell phone just about has the capacity to serve as a recorder. many cities have moved in this direction and the results have been almost entirely positive from the view of prosecutors the courts, the defense community, and most importantly justice. that's my view. (vo) she gets the comedians laughing and the thinkers thinking. >>ok, so there's wiggle room in the ten commandments, that's what you're saying. (vo) she's joy behar. >>current will let me say anything.
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>> eliot: some measure of justice finally last week it was an announced that eric snyder man backed by president obama's task force has filed the first case against one of the big six banks that caused the economic collapse. it alleges wide spread fraught of jpmorgan chase. according to the suit bear-sterns was guilty of the rampant fraud at the heart of the economic collapse, namely bundleing sub prescribing mortgages into securities and then lying to investors about the quality of the mortgages being sold. the case marks the most direct action to date against the type of behavior that caused the cataclysm of 2008. joining me now is senior fellow
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at demos and former vice president the goldman sachs wrote recent piece for the american prospect was titled "finally schneiderman goes after jpmorgan chase." does this give you satisfaction that the wheels of justice are beginning to turn. >> absolutely. finally we see something that is substantive that will have some impact on jpmorgan perhaps on the entire culture that a lot of this behavior will change as a result. >> eliot: under lying this case are documents were clayton which did do due diligence that said the mortgages you're marketing do not satisfy your own underwriting standards. >> and the banks pressed harder. first of all they waived a number of different provisions to bring more mortgages in. the whole thing was designed so
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that the bank was--bear-sterns was enslaved to the originators. they wanted more product because they could be sold at a profit. so instead of cracking down to require that the mortgages complied, they were waiving all of the requirements and bringing more in, and bringing more in. the people at clayton were under tremendous pressure to bring everything in. >> eliot: those who were marketing made a bloody fortune on the way up. you raised a critical point can the culture be changed? this is several years after the fact. no individuals are named eric sheinderman, successor of mine, a friend of mine, i don't want to be critical of the case, but will this be enough to put the culture on the bottom life and put short-term profit at the tomorrow. >> what sheiderman is doing is
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great. but this is as recent as a few months ago. the culture which is really designed to have these banks create problems in the market, disturbances in the market and solve them and pull the value out is still going on. that all goes to the american public. so when these banks take money out at every level, bear-sterns was taking fees at like six or seven different levels of these transactions. that was in mortgages. there are lots of other areas where it's just a true. >> eliot: whats with going on with subprime was not an isolated incident. this is emblematic that markets risk. you hedge and then make money off it in a hundred different ways. how do you make that the target which means we have to remove
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the federal guarantee from these banks. >> or say that a bank with that federal guarantee cannot do that activity. you have to get rid of the activity-- >> eliot: advice the volcker rule. taking out the high-risked leveraged transactional related stuff that they're doing now that makes the big return from the traditional taking deposits and the traditional banking. >> no proprietary banking. >> eliot: right. >> i think that when one of the things i would like to be interested in is governor romney where he said i'll repeal dodd frank. he said i'm not going to repeal all of dodd frank. controller rulevolcker rule is central to all of this. >> eliot: to be fair to the other side of the argument, as much as i agree with you, lehman
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brothers was one of the initial blanks to fail. it was highly leveraged and caused the spark of the cataclysm perhaps. it would still exist under the volcker rule. >> one of the things the post financial crisis there are no more investment banks. we're all commercial banks now. even goldman sachs and morgan stanley made themselves into commercial banks. >> eliot: overnight. >> with every rule out of the way. >> eliot: right. >> so during the crisis so they could stabilize. >> eliot: let me translate into language that people could understand. in order to get the catch from the feds that they needed, they needed to be a federal constitution and then the feds decided they were federal constitutions and they got the cash that they needed or they would have gone bust. >> right. so they're all commercial banks now. that's why the volcker rule is important. >> eliot: let's go back to the
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fundamental question, without people in handcuffs going to jail or without individual bankers having the bonuses that they got from the last 15 years reclaimed by the public or the banks, will anybody change their behavior. >> whether you're going to jail or your money taken from you it's a penalty that has to be realized. what happens is you have all the incentive in the world to take all the risk in the world risk and award same thing take all the risk in the world. take it out now who cares what happens next year. unless they start caring because they're going to go to jail or they'll lose their money. >> eliot: one of the great things about the cataclysm--very few--but we got a bunch of great clichés, socialize risk and privatize gain. >> it won't work. >> eliot: thank you so much for
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